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SYRFILMFEST announces October 2010 plans

June 04, 2010

Christine Fawcett
(315) 443-8826

Even though it's still months away, the Syracuse International Film Festival (SYRFILMFEST) is gearing up for its seventh annual event, which will take place this year Oct. 13-17 in venues across Syracuse.

Owen Shapiro, festival artistic director and the Maurice E. Shaffer and Dorothea I. Shaffer Professor in Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts, has announced several highlights of this fall's festival. 

"We are very pleased to bring the film ‘Session' to SYRFILMFEST'10. ‘Session' was the first feature film shot here in Syracuse (in 2007)," Shapiro says. "It stars Israeli actress Bar Refaeli and Steven Bauer ("Scarface"). The film's director, Haim Bouzaglo has screened his films at the Syracuse International Film Festival since 2005 and also taught as a visiting artist in the film program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. The film is a psychological thriller with several Syracuse actors in small supporting appearances. Bouzaglo is currently completing plans for national and international distribution of the film. The premiere here in Syracuse will be a big deal."

In addition, the festival will welcome Vincent Pastore as a guest and judge. Pastore is perhaps best known for his role as Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero on the HBO series "The Sopranos." "Vincent will bring his standup comedy routine to Wise Guys Comedy Club and then show his newest film, ‘Pizza With Bullets,' at The Palace Theatre," Shapiro says. The comedy also stars Talia Shire ("The Godfather").

The October SYRFILMFEST'10 will also sponsor a three-day scriptwriting workshop (Oct. 13-15) as part of this year's festival experience, working in collaboration with the SU graduate program in creative writing. Interested adults are encouraged to register for the workshop, which will be led by award-winning writers Rob Edwards ("The Princess and The Frog") and Robert Knott ("Appaloosa"). For registration details, call (315) 443-8826. Registration ends June 30, and slots are limited.

SYRFILMFEST'10's signature event, Silent Film & Cool Jazz, will pair director Alfred Hitchcock and the jazz saxophone of Syracuse favorite Javon Jackson. Jackson is already creating the music to accompany the little-known Hitchcock film "The Lodger." This live music event will be at The Palace Theatre on Friday, Oct. 15.

Shapiro says that Hitchcock films will be a theme leading up to and during this year's festival, with a 35mm screening of "The 39 Steps" and "Rope" at The Palace Theatre on Friday, Oct. 1, and an outdoor screening of the Hitchcock classic "The Birds" on Friday, Sept. 24 (location to be announced). "SYRFILMFEST is pleased to be producing film programming that will tie in with the 2010-11 season opener at Syracuse Stage-the stage play version of ‘39 Steps' that will open in the week following the festival," Shapiro says. "Be sure to see the film and then the play to get the best experience."

Final event dates are currently being confirmed and will be announced in August. But film festival organizers encourage film fans, especially those traveling from out of town, to make their plans soon, since SYRFILMFEST'10 coincides with Syracuse University's Orange Central homecoming celebration (, Oct. 14-17, and hotel accommodations will be in demand.  

For more information, on SYRFILMFEST '10, visit or phone the festival office at (315) 443-8826.

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